The CITI is an Ideal Way to Prepare for the Written and Oral FCICE
Thirty-five years of proven results make it clear that NCI’s three-week Court Interpreter Training Institute (CITI) is an excellent way to prepare for the oral portion of the Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination (FCICE). An intensive focus on language and skill development targeting the relevant modes and variety of legal terminology and settings leaves participants more fluent in their interpreting proficiency and confident of their abilities, essential factors for success on the oral exam.
Prepare for the Written Exam
The CITI also offers excellent preparation for the written portion of the FCICE, a rigorous exam that is largely developed around the legal context. Although not a direct test of legal concepts, an understanding of legal language and procedure is highly recommended to make the written exam more accessible. This is why the FCICE Examinee Handbook suggests that written candidates increase their experience of court interpreting, take court interpreter workshops, and study a wide variety of legal material, including “U.S. court documents such as indictments, sentences, probation and police reports, affidavits,” and many other English and Spanish legal texts. This is the type of material you will analyze and practice with during the CITI, empowering you with essential background knowledge to attack the written exam with confidence.
The Examinee Handbook contains a ten-part written FCICE sample test—Reading Comprehension, Usage, Error Detection, Synonyms, and Best Translation—that provides a good review of the legal context of the written exam’s texts and items in both Spanish and English. For example, the Reading Comprehension sections are mostly comprised of general to specialized legal texts. During the CITI you have the opportunity to become widely familiar with applicable legal discourse, which will enhance your ability to confront the written, and ease the challenge of determining the right answer on 200 multiple-choice items, each containing four options that are all written to seem plausible—no easy task!
Plan in Advance for the Oral Exam
Preparing for the written at the CITI is a wise use of time, because the oral examination rolls around very quickly. Passing the oral typically requires long-term, sustained practice to improve interpreting performance in simultaneous and consecutive interpreting and sight translation. Successful candidates recognize the importance of starting early to hone their skills and make demonstrable progress. So if you take the CITI to prepare for written, rest assured that you are also seriously strengthening your interpreting fluency and accuracy at the right time and in the right areas—the key to delivering your best performance on the oral examination. In addition, our excellent instructors will give constructive feedback for areas you need to improve and provide valuable tips and resources for continued practice. Our curriculum was developed with this in mind—to help aspiring interpreters achieve the requisite proficiency to become certified and serve the judiciary in providing equal access for linguistic minorities.